The ticking gene is responsible for flecks of colour appearing in white areas of the coat. Ticking generally is not apparent at birth. Ticking can be very light or very heavy; markings varying in size from tiny wisps of colour to small patches. It develops over the months as a puppy matures with small freckles appearing on the skin followed by the hair in those areas becoming coloured where it used to be white. It may come as an unexpected surprise to owners, leading more than one (me included) to worry that the puppy is suffering from some strange skin disease. Not to worry. If your puppy has the ticking gene, this is very normal.
Ticking matches the coloured portions of the coat with black ticking on a black belton and brown ticking on a chocolate belton. A colour ticked coat is called Belton or Parti Belton. The appearance may be more familiar if you look at hunting dogs such as English Cockers and English Setters. See the explanation of the ticking gene in the definitions section.
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